Headmasters Newsletter, Friday 12th January 2024
12 January 2024

Headmaster's Newsletter, Friday 12th January 2024

Dear Parents 

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." ― Anais Nin. 

We want to help every child at Dumpton to find the courage they need to make the most of their talents, their opportunities, and their potential. It is all too easy to spend our childhood - and our life - firmly within our comfort zone. And as warm and cosy as it is in there, staying inside our comfort zones means we are unlikely to realise the amazing things we are all capable of. Without the courage to push and stretch ourselves beyond what we know, sadly, much of the remarkable potential within each of us may remain undiscovered. 

The problem, as I shared with children in my assembly on Monday, is that being courageous is hard! We are often hard-wired to be risk averse, pre-programmed to choose the easy path. Stepping out of our comfort zone feels uncomfortable and unnerving. But it is so important that children learn to lean into those feelings, not run away from them. Whether it is trying a new sport or musical instrument, standing up for what is right, plugging away in a subject we find hard, staying overnight away from our parents for the first time, or singing a solo on stage - it's those sometimes uncomfortable courageous acts in our life that help define who we are. 

Courage is one of the seven virtues of 'The Dumpton Way' our character education framework - and we will continue to work hard to foster a culture where children are gently encouraged to step out of their comfort zones, expand their horizons, and unearth that amazing potential within them. 

School Surveys 

We have had 57 responses to the surveys so far, thank you to everyone. However, we'd be delighted if every parent could make some time to fill it in between now and Wednesday next week to give us the broadest possible picture. It should be no more than 10 minutes of your time - but invaluable for us in our future planning and improving the experience for you and your children. 

Dance World Cup 

We are delighted to share the happy news that Austin R is proud to have qualified to represent Team England at the Dance World Cup 2024. He will compete with his Jazz solo, choreographed by Angela Taylor from Steppin Out Academy, alongside 7500 other dancers, from 66 different countries in Prague this Summer.  This is an incredible opportunity, and he feels so lucky to be able to compete against such talented dancers at such a prestigious event! 

Hockey and Netball season begins! 

Well done to all the children for making such an impressive start this season, with some brilliant performances against Sandroyd, and at the Sherborne Hockey Tournament. The latest match reports are attached. 

Netball – from Mrs Sowden  

We have been sent an invitation from Poole Netball Club to invite all Year 5 and 6 girls for a trial session, a flyer is attached for information should you be interested. 

Y1 Winter Walk - From Miss Goodhew and Mr Clark 

Year 1 visited Kingston Lacy for a winter walk looking for signs of the season.  It was the perfect day, cold and crisp with some beautiful sunshine.  The children and staff had a wonderful morning exploring the frost, snowdrops and frozen lake in the Japanese garden. We even had the chance to enjoy the kitchen garden adventure playground before heading back to school  

Vacancy - Head of Pre-Prep Role  

After some fantastic success in the Pre-Prep and Nursery over the last few years, and a significant increase in pupils numbers, with the full support of the Governing Board I have decided that this thriving part of the school now needs and deserves its own 'Head' - a 'Head of Pre-Prep'. The new Head of Pre-Prep will sit alongside me on the school's leadership team (SLT), provide outstanding vision, support, management and leadership to all staff within both the Pre-Prep and Nursery, as well as becoming an important figure for both pupils and parents. With the potential for our highest numbers ever in Reception next year, and such strong foundations on which to build upon, this is a wonderful time and opportunity to make this structural change to the leadership of the school. Please do spread the word about this exciting opportunity: https://www.dumpton.com/vacancies 

Announcement - Head of Emotional Literacy 

I am delighted to announce that, from September 2024, Amanda Goodhew will step back from her role as Head of Key Stage 1 to allow her to formally take whole school responsibility for RULER, emotional literacy and support for emotional wellbeing as 'Head of Emotional Literacy', and she will continue on the SMT leading in this vital area and supporting children and parents. I am sure you will all join me in congratulating Miss Goodhew, and wishing her well with this exciting new responsibility. 

Nina Gold Casting Visit 

We are extremely excited to be visited by Nina Gold casting next week who are holding auditions here at Dumpton for the upcoming big budget BBC adaptation of ‘Lord of the Flies’. A few lucky boys will get the chance to impress the casting agents. We wish them all the best for this very exciting opportunity. 

Labour VAT on School Fees Proposals 

Apologies for departure to slightly less positive matters, but I have discussed the impact of Labour’s plans for Independent Schools informally with many of you, and I remain happy to talk with any parent who would like to know more. To summarise, at Board level we have been carefully considering and planning for the impact of Labour's proposed changes for some time, especially with regards to how we can continue to offer the quality of education that Dumpton is so well known for whilst remaining sensitive to the strain of affordability on our parent body. Whilst there are still far too many unknowns to predict the precise impact of any changes, Dumpton's position as a strong and financially stable organisation allows us to feel confident about our ability to manage any transition to new fiscal realities as smoothly as possible for our school community. 

One Way System on Deans Grove 

Again, on a more serious note, after an incident this week, please could I remind all parents to respect the one-way system on Deans Grove by not turning 'right' after leaving school. Whilst it might add an extra minute or two onto your journey to turn left onto Deans Grove, this is far better than causing disruption and damage due to the very narrow road and weight of traffic coming the other way.  

Summer Ball - Save the Date - Saturday 18 May 

I think I should finish with something far more positive! To celebrate Dumpton's 120th year, we are delighted to announce that we will be hosting a Summer Ball at Dumpton, the first time we have hosted a ball since 2019. This will be, I know, a very special occasion for the Dumpton community - we're committed to providing an evening where as many of you as possible can come along, share in one another's company, and enjoy some lovely food, drink, entertainment - and who knows, even some dancing - in a wonderful setting here at school on an early summer's evening. You will hear more from Mrs Shaw soon and thank you also to the Dumpton Friends who will be supporting the event. Please put the date in the diary immediately for what promises to be a memorable occasion. 

With best wishes for the weekend. 

Christian Saenger 

Key Events Week Beginning 15/01/2023:      
WEEK 3: Theme of the Week: Celebrating World Religions 
Tuesday 16 January 
 8.30: Prep School Senior Assembly (Class 7T) 
 PM: Sports Fixtures (Y3-Y4) - please see Dumpton Sports Site for full details 
Wednesday 17 January  
PM: Sports Fixtures (Y5-Y8) - please see Dumpton Sports Site for full details 
 15.00: Pre-Prep Class Assembly (2F) 
Thursday 18 January 
 8.30: Prep School Assembly - Performing Arts/Sports Reports 
Friday 19 January 
Nina Gold Casting 
8.30: Prep School Junior Class Assembly (3W) 



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